The end game for most YouTube creators runs across a broad spectrum: Some creators simply seek a small second
source of income from their channels while other YouTube partners actively go for the big leagues with fast food sponsorships, network deals and their own television shows. The sheer popularity of YouTube, based on viewers alone, has opened up a new marketplace where all that stands between six-figure incomes is a webcam and decent editing software. Or so we’ve been told.
In reality, even scratching the surface of generating a living wage through YouTube is incredibly difficult. Sure, breakout, homegrown hits like Elle Walker (What’sUpElle) and Dane Boedigheimer (The Annoying Orange) have given us clear examples that success is achievable on YouTube, but how realistic is that possibility today?
This is all in response to the recent introduction of YouTube Pro Series, a new campaign created by YouTube to help partners turn creating videos into a full-time job. The first topic YouTube has covered is “Working with Advertisers,” which deals with “pitching an idea” and what to include in a contract” when working with outside brands.
It’s a pretty amazing program YouTube has launched, but it does come with some hidden, troublesome implications. Let’s figure out how beneficial YouTube Pro Series really is to the creator community.
Why YouTube Pro Series Is Great
YouTube is trying to help young creators navigate the murky waters of brand partnerships, which is amazing. All too often, as we’ve seen in the past, brands and corporations are more than willing to take advantage of up-and-coming creators. This can result in a number of negative consequences for creators including, in some cases, a loss of your own personal voice.
By launching their first four sessions with creators like Walker and Boedigheimer — creators who have kept their unique voices throughout success — YouTube is showing young creators that working at the corporate level doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing one’s vision.
Additionally, it never hurts when YouTube creators drop by to share their success stories. In doing so, aspiring creators are able to avoid or embrace some of the steps that successful YouTubers like Walker and Boedigheimer have taken.
Why YouTube Pro Series Isn’t So Great
There is a new recipe for success on YouTube. Everyday, as more and more people flock to YouTube to start careers, the pool of actual profiting YouTubers becomes smaller. As the video sharing site shifts to a more television-style format, the ability to stand out doing single-cam vlogging, web series or parodies has become near impossible. Already, thousands of small creators have rallied against the new YouTube layout, which many are claiming only favors established partners.
Of course, by this logic no one should ever try to become an actor or writer because those careers are equally, if not more, difficult to break into. But, unlike acting and writing, YouTube seems to be actively shifting away from smaller creators, not on purpose, but simply out of necessity. With so much content on YouTube, the site can only curate so many videos. If Google, and by proxy YouTube, spent all of their time searching out small, talented creators, they’d be ignoring big revenue opportunities generated from their top 100 partners.
Nonetheless, by selling young creators on this “turn your YouTube channel into a full-time gig” ideal, YouTube is setting up an unrealistic dynamic for small creators who are already in the process of being squeezed out.
Not to mention, this level of professional vlogging can also lead some creators to prematurely sign with networks, which, as recent news has shown, can be problematic.
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